Jessica Wilson’s journey from small town Aussie to global fashion mogul is nothing short of remarkable. By 16, Jess was already a budding entrepreneur, renting paddock space to other kids to host after-formal parties in her hometown, just outside Coffs Harbour. She earned just enough money for her first year of university, where a career advisor told Jess something that would change her life forever: she was too ‘small town’ to make it in the fashion industry.
Jess dropped out the next day, armed with dogged determination to do things her way. She started door knocking, hustling her way into a fashion internship that took her all over the world, to fashion weeks from New York to Paris before she’d even left her teens.
During this time, Jess noticed an emerging trend in how consumers were purchasing – and identified a gap in the fashion tech market that the massive conglomerates had somehow all missed. So, at just 20, with a small wallet and a big dream, she booked a one-way flight to San Francisco and started door knocking.
Hustling through the tech community, Jess networked her way into companies from Facebook to Google, surrounded herself with people who had the knowledge she lacked. Eventually, Jess connected with a tech-savvy partner who helped her bring her dream to life.
Seeing a rare opportunity to promote her idea to a huge audience, Jess then entered a reality TV competition in China called The Next Unicorn, a mix between The Apprentice and Shark Tank, with a $2M winner-takes-all prize and broadcast reach of 15 million. STASHD won third place: Jess was the only female winner and the only Westerner to make the finals.
Although Jess came third, STASHD didn’t take off in China immediately. In fact, the app was downloaded just 11 times after the show aired! Now, just three years later, thanks to Jess’ grit and determination, STASHD is firmly entrenched not only in the lucrative Chinese market, but in more than 80 other markets, with 11 countries voting STASHD Apple’s best new app in its first year.
As a result of her impressive achievements, Jess has been nominated for Forbes ‘30 entrepreneurs under 30 that have changed the world in the last 50 years’ and listed in Smart Company's ‘30 Under 30’ three times.
Jess’ tenacity is proof she’s just getting started. At only 27, she’s well on her way to inspiring millennials and young women all over the world that determination and a refusal to give up can bring impossible dreams to life. Her entrepreneurial spirit and business acumen make Jess a speaker not to be missed!